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Distortions in reports of health behaviors: the time span effect and illusory supefuority

Hoorens, V. and Harris, P.R. (1998) Distortions in reports of health behaviors: the time span effect and illusory supefuority. Psychology and Health, 13 (3). pp. 451-466. ISSN 0887-0446

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The occurreace of a time span effect and illusory superiority in self reports of health behaviors was tested. It was found that people report proportionally lower frequencies of both healthy and unhealthy behaviors if they give frequency estimations over a longer as compared to a shorter time span (time span effect). In addition, they report lower frequencies of unhealthy behaviors, and higher frequencies of healthy behaviors for themselves than for the average other (illusory superiority). For healthy but not for unhealthy behaviors a stronger illusory superiority effect was obtained in frequency reports for behavioral expectations as compared to past behaviors. Potential explanations and implications for subjective measurements of health behavior are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Time span effect; illusory superiority; self reports; health behavior; behavioral expectations
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2009 14:10
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2009 14:10
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870449808407303
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/08870449808407303
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9933

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